Several art institutions have stopped receiving donations by the Sackler family, who are facing legal action over the production of opioid drugs linked to deaths in the USA. The National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Gallery in London or the Guggenheim in New York are among the first institutions declaring they will no longer accept funds from the Sackler family.
The Sackler family has donated funds to various art institutions in the past decades promoting arts and culture. Now, after their pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma LP was involved in the production of the highly addictive opioid painkiller OxyContin which has caused addiction and led to the death of hundreds in the US, institutions are declining the family’s donations.
In London, the National Portrait Gallery turned down a grant from the Sackler family, stating that a mutual decision was taken to not accept a £1m donation from the family this time. Then the Tate Group announced that no further donations would be accepted by the Sackler family. The group issued a statement clarifying that the Sacklers donated generously to Tate as well as many UK arts institutions in the past, and references to those will not be removed.
The Guggenheim in New York issued a statement last week clarifying that no contributions from the Sackler family had been received since 2015. It also said that there were no plans for the Sackler Center for Arts Education of the Guggenheim to be renamed as the name was contractual. It also stated that no more funds were to be accepted by the family.
The Sacklers have been granting funds to many art galleries, museums, theatres and universities in the UK and the USA. Some of the UK institutions are the Serpentine’s Sackler Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Royal Opera House, the National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Royal Ballet school, the Royal College of Art.